Oh is there anything that will stop your house from being a priceless showpiece more than having kids?
Not that I’ve ever had a priceless showpiece of a house… ever. But I didn’t mind myself a bit of a tidy abode from time to time. I am inherently lazy so sometimes it was a bit of a struggle, but there’s such a good feeling to be had when you’re sitting on the couch surrounded by cleanliness and order.
Matt and I lived in the grottiest share house known to man when we first got together. So grotty in fact, that before I began living there, I broke in one day when everyone was at work and scrubbed the bathroom. The house was OLD, and a bunch of dudes lived there. I got tuberculosis from just looking at the shower, let alone stepping into it. There was nothing I could do to make that house look anything other than old and like a bunch of dudes lived there, so I learned to live with it. Someday I’d have a fancy house!
Our next stop was a tiny little shack by the beach, which also was old but bereft of a bunch of dudes. There was only us two, but still there wasn’t much that could be done to make the place look nice.
Now we live in a larger house that is slightly more modern, but still old. So no matter how hard I try, the laundry still looks awful, the bathroom tiny and ancient, and everything else just a little bit blah. It’s super-hard to be motivated to keep it looking nice if all efforts are going to fail anyway. We moved in before Abby was born, and I figured we could spruce it up once I recovered from that whole having a baby business. But then I had another baby and the house still doesn’t look much different! One thing I did do though, was go through the house and purge everything that I didn’t think needed to be around. I knew I wasn’t going to get much cleaning or tidying done with a newborn and a toddler, so if there was less clutter then it would take a longer time to get to the point where it was in such disarray I couldn’t stand it any more.
I have only just gotten the urge back to be houseproud (I’m a firm believer of letting the housework fall by the wayside when you have babies), and I totally blame Beth at BabyMac with her damn Beverley magazine. Here I was, innocently reading and enjoying myself until I spotted a vignette of some corner of her house artfully decorated and with fresh flowers in a pretty vase. My house did not look like that. My house has no vignettes and it certainly had no fresh flowers. I didn’t even own a vase. Something stirred in me that afternoon as I looked at the page, and remembered how shiny Beth’s floors always looked, and how much she enjoyed creating a beautiful space for her family to live. I immediately got up and scrubbed the mould off the back of the laundry door that had been there for a month.
It feels good to be houseproud again. It felt good to be inspired. It is a lovely sight to see an clean dining table and a clutter-free bench. Now, our house is super-small so all it needs is one coffee cup and it looks disorganised and messy, so it’s a bit of a work in progress. And I don’t mind toy mess – that’s a constant with kids. What I loathe is dirty dishes, dirty floors and unmade beds. I kept up with those pretty well the last seven months, but it really has taken me this long to take the next step and work on other areas of the house!
Well, except the washing… man, that is the worst chore ever.
So tell me how you do it – is your house old and impossible to make fancy? do you have a cleaning schedule? How do you make a small house not look like a refuge?
And can you come mop my floors?